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Guidance from the experts takes a good cannabis shopping experience to even greater heights. The knowledgeable guides at The Travel Agency are here to assist you in navigating the vast world of cannabis and ensure a tailored experience to meet your needs. Explore important questions to ask at a dispensary that encourages you to make more informed choices and elevate your cannabis journey.

 

A tip from a The Travel Agency NYC budtender says "Pro-tip: If it's been a minute since your last toke, stick with low-THC options to start." The quote is one of several responses to questions to ask at a dispensary.

 

Question 1: Which products would you recommend for someone new to cannabis — or who hasn’t had cannabis for a long time?

With hundreds of menu items, how do newcomers know which product is best

As a rule, if you’re brand new to cannabis, or if it’s been a minute since the plant has been in your routine, stick with intuitive products that don’t pack tons of THC. Your budtender can guide you to options that provide a gentle and enjoyable introduction to cannabis – such as low-THC strains, pre-rolled joints, or edibles with lower potency.

James M, a budtender at The Travel Agency, typically recommends something with a low amount of THC to start, such as a Drew Martins pre-roll.

“I would ask a customer how they want to consume cannabis or what experience they’re looking for,” James shared. “If they don’t want to smoke it, I would recommend a low-dose edible that also has CBD so they’re less likely to get too high, too fast.”

“You really want to know a person’s tolerance before recommending anything that may be too potent for them,” added The Travel Agency budtender Chyna W. “Getting them too high at first can possibly turn them off of cannabis altogether— and we definitely don’t want to do that.”

 

Question 2: Which cannabinoids are in my product?

Every product sold in a licensed dispensary in New York State is tested for the cannabinoids present in that product. This means that the flower, concentrates, vape, or whatever else you choose comes with test results that show precisely how much THC, CBD, CBN, or other cannabinoids are present.

Talk to your budtender about what you’re looking for. They can steer you toward products that have the cannabinoids you want to try, whether that’s higher levels of THC, higher levels of CBD, or something else altogether. They can also show you how to access test results so you can read the breakdown for yourself.

Question 3: How will terpenes affect my experience?

Cannabis is so much more than just THC and CBD. Terpenes — the compounds that give cannabis its scent and flavor — may affect how you feel as well. For example:

Myrcene is associated with sedative properties

Limonene is associated with energizing feelings

Linalool is associated with relaxation

Beta-caryophyllene is associated with relaxation

If you’re curious about these properties, ask your budtender for cultivars (strains) and other cannabis products that contain high levels of terpenes. Keep in mind, though, that “high levels” can be as low as 1% or 0.5% — terpenes are quite sensitive and evaporate off quickly, so you won’t find soaring-high levels of any terpenes in a cannabis product.

Question 4: How was the cannabis grown?

The cannabis product you take home starts from seed, and how that seed is cultivated can make all the difference. Some brands offer great detail on how their products are grown, including the environment used, techniques employed, and nutrients applied. Some cultivation practices are by default: pesticides are not allowed in New York State, so you won’t find these in any products.

Your budtender can help point you to brands that support growing practices that you want to experience. For example, Hudson Cannabis is known for using regenerative farming techniques in cultivation.

Question 5: I want to try cannabis for [Insert your reason here]. What would you recommend?

No matter your reason for consuming cannabis, sharing that why is key to a productive conversation with the budtender.

“People are looking for a safe solution, whether that ‘problem’ is medical, recreational, or even spiritual,” explained The Travel Agency budtender Dominique F. “It’s important we as budtenders try to educate ourselves in the many pros cannabis has and how to leverage that to provide answers.”

James M. explained that if a customer wanted to try cannabis to help with body aches, they would suggest products inclined to produce a “body high” over something more cerebral.

“I would also explain the products we have that contain CBG, which could be beneficial for pain,” he added.

Question 6: How do I use this product?

Dispensary staff members are knowledgeable about various methods of consumption and can provide you with guidance on how to use any product effectively.

Budtender Jade J. says it’s vital for customers to know how to use products, including dosage and consumption methods, so they’re equipped to try the product at home. After all, flower would be quite difficult to consume without a glass piece, vaporizer, or papers.

“If the customer is purchasing flower, they can also purchase a grinder, a pack of our rolling papers, or one of our smoking pipes,” Jade explained. “If they don’t want to roll or grind, they can purchase a preroll. We can talk them through those decisions.”

“It’s important to explain to the customer how to use a product so that they don’t feel confused or get frustrated when using whatever they purchased,” James M. added. “I explain the intended use and share a personal experience when I have it to make the customer more comfortable. I also explain how not to use products as well to ensure customer safety.”

Question 7: I enjoyed [insert cultivar] before, but I don’t see it on the menu. How can I find something similar?

Not only will this question allow dispensary staff to better understand your preferences, but it may help you to expand your options rather than stay in the realm of what you already know.

“Popular products go fast, but it’s not fair to have a customer miss out on an enjoyable thing because we ran out, and especially when we can provide a substitute,” explained Dominique F. “That new product they may be willing to try might end up being 10 times more enjoyable than what they were originally looking for, and I bet they’ll appreciate the time and accuracy put into finding them something that’s a good fit.”

Cultivars (strains) with similar cannabinoid and terpene profiles are among the products a budtender can recommend to try to replicate the experience you’re going after. These recommendations help you achieve your desired effects until your favorite is back in stock.

Budtender Liv B. added, “What’s great about our dispensary menu kiosks is that our site does a great job of grouping similar products. We can narrow down products to cater to strain type, what mood or feelings you want to experience, the brand, how much you want to buy, and more.”

Question 8: Do you offer a rewards program?

In New York State, rewards programs get you access to new products, invitations to member-only events, and a chance to buy exclusive product bundles. Sign up for our Travel Club program to get the latest info on new products and the many new products arriving daily on our menu.

Joining programs like The Travel Agency’s Travel Club lets you cut the line when new releases drop.

“Our Travel Club is the best way to stay in the loop with us,” said Liv B. “We are expanding rapidly and will only receive way more products over time. This is the best way to get those notifications first, before the general public, so you can be first to try the newest.”

Question 9: How much cannabis can I buy today?

At The Travel Agency (and any other licensed adult-use dispensary in New York), you can buy up to 3 ounces of cannabis per day. Knowing the limit helps you plan your shopping trip accordingly. Budtenders can help you keep track and do the math as you fill your basket.

“Explaining how much a customer is allowed to purchase is important so not only do we stay compliant with state laws, but also so that customers can get what they want without risking disappointment if they can’t buy everything,” said James M.

Dispensary staff members are knowledgeable about local laws and purchasing limits and can help you to ensure that you are staying safe. “I wouldn’t want anyone getting in trouble because we said they could do something that they actually could not,” added Dominique F.

Question 10: How do I know how much to consume?

Cannabis affects everyone differently, so determining the appropriate dose is essential to a good experience. “How much you can consume has a direct link to how your high goes,” explained Dominique F. “Too little, you feel nothing. Too much, you feel everything.”

Easier said than done, though. Dispensary staff can help you assess your tolerance level, experience, and desired effects so they steer you toward the right product and amount to try once you take that product home.

“I let the customer know the suggested dose or usage as written on the product’s packaging, says James M. “However, I also always recommend starting with as low a dose as possible and building based on how their tolerance allows. You can always take more, but you can’t take less!”

Question 11: How do I know the products I buy are safe?

All products at The Travel Agency are lab-tested before they’re sold to you. The same can’t be said for unlicensed dispensaries that aren’t obligated to carry tested products.

Dominique F. explained that every product has a QR code on its package that takes you to that item’s testing information.

“The products being sold in unlicensed shops do not go through the same rigorous testing, nor do they have the same requirements for storage, so there is really no way of telling what else is in your plant,” Dominique added.

The easiest way to make sure you’re shopping in a safe place is to check the dispensary door for a licensed dispensary sticker tag issued by New York State.

“We have ours right at our entrance, so you’ll always know we’ve got your back,” said Liv B.

Question 12: What does the money I’m spending go to?

As a purpose-driven cannabis dispensary, The Travel Agency makes a meaningful difference by giving back to the community. More than half of our proceeds are redirected to The Doe Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty. By shopping at The Travel Agency, you can feel confident knowing your purchase contributes to fostering a sense of unity and purpose among communities most impacted by the War on Drugs.

Question 13: Do you tip your budtender?

Gratuity is always appreciated, but never required. Look for the “munchie fund” or “love all things green” tip slots if you want to show a little love to your budtender.

Find your way with The Travel Agency

At The Travel Agency, we believe that the journey into the world of cannabis should be a fulfilling and enjoyable experience. And the first step of that journey often comes with questions as you prepare to take flight. Our knowledgeable budtenders are here to guide you on your quest for the right cannabis products. Stop by our Union Square or Downtown Brooklyn locations any day of the week with your questions in tow.

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